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District 3 Track & Field Notebook: Northern's Marlee Starliper three-peats distance double; Cumberland Valley's 4x400 wins thriller; Carlisle relays strong
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District 3 Track & Field

District 3 Track & Field Notebook: Northern's Marlee Starliper three-peats distance double; Cumberland Valley's 4x400 wins thriller; Carlisle relays strong

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SHIPPENSBURG — If Marlee Starliper has a list of accomplishments for her District 3 and PIAA career written down somewhere in her locker or at home, she likely has more checked off than those still unfulfilled at this point.

The Northern sensation shredded the girls Class 3A 1600 field in Saturday’s District 3 Track & Field Championships with a 4:38.70, more than eight seconds better than the previous mark she set in that event last year.

“I still haven’t gotten the [1600] state title yet, so that’s something. I would just love to be able to do this double again next year,” Starliper said when asked what’s left for her to do. “Other than that, hopefully just run better every year.”

The victory, 14 seconds better than Greencastle-Antrim’s Taryn Parks, means Starliper has successfully swept the two distance races each of her three years at districts.

You’d think after three years of this, it would be tough for @NHSpbears Starliper to impress. But she just laid down a blistering 4:38.70. in the girls 3A 1600. Shattered her record last year by nearly 10 seconds. pic.twitter.com/ZmDDFIPbXu

— Jake Adams (@jakeadams520) May 18, 2019
Video interview with @NHSpbears Marlee Starliper: https://t.co/MSpOk7ypYn— Jake Adams (@jakeadams520) May 18, 2019

She looked stronger than every other runner in the field — Carlisle junior Sophia Toti was four seconds off her seed time, but still finished in 4:58.69 for fifth — and had impeccable form through all four laps around Shippensburg University’s track. Her decision to lay back in Friday’s 3200 before pulling away over the last two laps clearly conserved the kind of energy she hoped for on the second half of her distance double.

“You never know quite what to expect, because I don’t have to double very often. It’s nice how it is on separate days,” Starliper said. “It felt so good [today], I’m honestly a little bit surprised I felt just as good as I did.”

Starliper continues to raise her own already high bar. She claimed silver in the 3200 at the Penn Relays in April, then shattered the 41-year-old Pennsylvania state record last week with a 9:54.75, nearly 15 seconds better than State College’s Martha White in 1978.

Track & field: Northern's Marlee Starliper breaks 41-year-old record in 3200 at Glenn D. Loucks Games
Penn Relays: Northern's Marlee Starliper gets silver in mile; Cumberland Valley's 4x400 girls relay also second

It’s more than welcomed after what proved a trying junior cross country season filled with physical and mental struggles before she broke loose to defend her district and state titles there. Since then Starliper has found yet another gear.

“I feel like … after the cross country season, I think that mentally I was just able to practice just not worrying about some of these little things,” she said. “I’m just so thankful with where I’m at right now.”

Northern's Marlee Starliper defends PIAA Class 2A cross country title after relying on faith during trying season

Eagles 4x4 golden

Talk about saving the best for last.

Cumberland Valley’s 4x400 boys relay pulled off a thrilling win over the likes of top seed CD East, running a 3:20.01 thanks to dominant third and fourth legs by James Jaisingh and David Williams, respectively.

The time was nearly three seconds better than what the Eagles entered with. Jaisingh, a sophomore who barely two hours before posted a 48.11 for district silver in the 400, erased a sizable gap in his lap. He turned CV’s back-of-the-pack deficit into a couple-second lead for Williams, who successfully fended off a Chambersburg challenge in the final 100. Jaisingh in particular thanked his coaches for pushing the relay team.

That was a baller 4x400 boys 3A. @CVSDeagles with a killer final 800, including a strong third leg by Jaisingh to finish with a 3:20.01. Wisner secures third for Carlisle as well in 3:23.41. pic.twitter.com/kJCTCy7lav

— Jake Adams (@jakeadams520) May 18, 2019

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Said lead leg Daniel Sheffield: “It felt good, it felt like I ran fine. But we couldn’t have done it without James and David anchoring it. James was blowing everyone out of the water.”

Said second leg Luke Noss: “It’s a really important team event, you have to have four guys that run their best.”

Said Jaisingh: “We just did what we had to do. We came here to win. … I thought we did a lot better today.”

Said Williams: “We knew that we had to come out and we had to go hard, considering how we were second-seeded and we had to beat [East]. But I think we did our job and finished strong.”

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Herd rally in relays

Carlisle’s relays had an especially good day for both genders.

The girls qualified in all three for states, a first for seniors Meg Tate and Meg Lebo. The Thundering Herd’s 4x800 opened the morning with a 9:21.79 for second behind Elizabethtown; the 4x100 followed up two hours later with a bronze medal (48.52); and the 4x400 capped things off with fifth in 4:04.04.

“That’s pretty cool,” Lebo said.

The Herd girls finished sixth as a team with 33 points and numerous PIAA qualifiers.

“I think it’s a lot better team-wise than last year,” Tate said.

On the boys side, the 4x800 qualified for states with an 8:00.87, nearly 20 seconds better than their seed for a fifth-place medal; and the 4x400 excitedly clinched a PIAA qualifying time of 3:24.54 and took home district bronze.

Wisner JUST had enough gas left in the tank to pull off the win in the 3A 4x800 boys lower heat. That was a fun finish. 8:00.87. pic.twitter.com/GXLwhqRo5u

— Jake Adams (@jakeadams520) May 18, 2019

“I’m definitely happy with our 4x8,” senior Jack Wisner said after he medaled in the 800 and 1600 as well.

Carlisle’s boys team claimed silver with 39 points.

Email Jake Adams at jadams@cumberlink.com or follow him on Twitter @jakeadams520

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